QUESTION: You return to the office after a news conference or interview and take a look or listen to sections you think are most important to your story. You realize that the interviewee has made a few grammatical errors. Should you slightly alter or clean up the quotes to use better English?

Answer by Michelle MacAfee

This can be a tricky one. As journalists, we all strive to take down quotes as accurately as possible. Of course, this is easier if the interview or news conference is taped, but if you are relying on your shorthand it’s quite likely you didn’t get every single word down verbatim.
But what to do with what you have?

QUESTION: You return to the office after a news conference or interview and take a look or listen to sections you think are most important to your story. You realize that the interviewee has made a few grammatical errors. Should you slightly alter or clean up the quotes to use better English?

Answer by Michelle MacAfee

This can be a tricky one. As journalists, we all strive to take down quotes as accurately as possible. Of course, this is easier if the interview or news conference is taped, but if you are relying on your shorthand it’s quite likely you didn’t get every single word down verbatim.
But what to do with what you have?

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